Work Address:  Department of Pathophysiology Nankai University School of Medicine 94 Weijin Road, Nankai District

Telephone:  +86(22) 2350-9332





Peking Union Medical   College, China

Stem Cell Biology

Mentor: Professor   Zhongchao Han



MD   (Equivalent)     

Norman   Bethune University of Medical Sciences





Post-Doctoral Training

The Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford (MIPS), Stanford University


Mentor: Professor Joseph C. Wu




Molecular imaging, gene therapy, and stem cell therapy; Monitoring stem cell survival, proliferation, and differentiation of adult stem cells and human embryonic stem cells



1994-2005       Member, Chinese Society of Medicine

2006-now        Associate member, Society for Vascular Medicine

2007-now        Member, The Society for Experimental Stroke (SFES)

2008-now        Associate member, International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR)

2009-now        Member, American Heart Association (AHA) 

2009-now        Member, Society of Nuclear Medicine (SNM)

2010-now        Member, The Society for Molecular Imaging (SMI)

2010-2012       Associate Editorial Board Member, American Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging

2010-2015Editorial Board Member of World Journal of Stem Cells

2014-            Editorial board member for the Journal of Molecular Biology and                               

                 Molecular Imaging


BioMed Research International, Lead Guest Editor


Editorial Board   Member of Stem Cell and Translational Investigation


Consulting Editor,   Stem Cells and Cloning: Advances and Applications


Editorial Board,   International Journal of Stem Cell Research & Therapy


Editorial Board of   PLOS ONE


Editorial Advisory   Board of the journal Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology





Top ten highest   scoring posters at AHA’s Young Investigators Forum, San Francisco


Dean’s Postdoctoral   Fellowship of Stanford University


Jay D. Coffman   Young Investigator Award, Society for Vascular Medicine and Biology




2008, Finalists for Young Investigators   Awards Competition of the American College of Cardiology, 57th Annual   Scientific Session in Chicago


2008   ACCF/Bristol-Myers Squibb Travel Award, American College of Cardiology


Young Investigator   Award, Cardiovascular Institute, Stanford University School of Medicine


International   Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) Travel Award



Mitzi and William   Blahd, MD Pilot Research Grant, Society of Nuclear Medicine



Featured paper of   Journal of Cellular Biochemistry,    Volume 106, Issue 2


Guest Editor of   Stem Cells International


Paper published on Stroke, 2010,   41(3):516-23 was selected by Faculty of 1000 Medicine.


Program for New Century Excellent Talents in   University


PUBLICATIONS (selected, more than 70, *correspondence author)

1.Tao H, Han Z, Han ZC, Li Z*. Proangiogenic Features of Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) and Their Therapeutic Applications. Stem Cell International. 2016; 2016:1314709

2.Feng G, Zhang J, Li Y, Nie Y, Zhu D, Wang R, Liu J, Gao J, Liu N, He N, Du W, Tao H, Che Y, Xu Y*, Kong D, Zhao Q*, Li Z*. IGF-1C Modified Hydrogel Enhances Cell Therapy for Acute Kidney Injury. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2016; 27: 2357-2369.

3.Du W, Tao H, Zhao S, He Z*, Li Z*. Translational Applications of Molecular Imaging in Cardiovascular Disease and Stem Cell Therapy. Biochimie, 2015;116:43-51

4.He N, Xu Y, Du W, Qi X, Wang Y, Feng G, Fan Y, Kong D, Han Z, Cheng Z, Wu JC, He Z, Li Z*. Extracellular matrix can recover the downregulation of adhesion molecules after cell detachment and enhance endothelial cell engraftment. Sci Rep, 2015, 5:10902

5.Yao X, Liu Y, Gao J, Yang L, Mao D, Stefanitsch C, Li Y, Zhang J, Ou L, Kong D, Zhao Q*, Li Z*. Nitric oxide releasing hydrogel enhances the therapeutic efficacy of mesenchymal stem cells for myocardial infarction. Biomaterials, 2015, 60:130-140

6.Zhao Q, Li Z*. Angiogenesis. BioMed Research International, 2015. 2015:135861

7.Wang L, Su W, Du W, Xu Y, Wang L, Han Z, Zheng G, Li Z*. Gene and microRNA Profiling of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Endothelial Cells. Stem Cell Rev, 2015, 11:219-27 

8.Zhang X, Zhu D, Wei L*, Zhao Z, Qi X, Li Z*, Sun D*. OSM enhances angiogenesis and improves cardiac function after myocardial infarction. BioMed Research International, 2015, 2015: 317905

9.Wang Y, Feng G, Wang J, Zhou Y, Liu Y, Shi Y, Zhu Y, Lin W, Xu Y, Li Z*. Differential effects of tumor necrosis factor-alpha on matrix metalloproteinase-2 expression in human myometrial and uterine leiomyoma smooth muscle cells. Hum Reprod. 2015;30:61-70

10.Leng L, Wang Y, He N, Wang D, Zhao Q, Feng G, Su W, Xu Y, Han Z, Kong D, Cheng Z, Xiang R, Li Z*. Molecular Imaging for Assessment of Mesenchymal Stem Cells Mediated Breast Cancer Therapy. Biomaterials, 2014, 35:5162-70

11.Wang L, Wang Y, Li, Z*. Advances in Nanoparticle-Based Tumor Theranostics with Molecular Imaging. Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, 2013, 14(7), 683-92

12.Liu J, Liu JJ, Chu L, Tong L, Gao H, Yang C, Wang D, Shi L, Kong D, Li Z*. Synthesis, Biodistribution, and Imaging of PEGylated-Acetylated Polyamidoamine Dendrimers. J Nanosci Nanotech. 2014, 14(5): 3305-12.

13.Feng G, Mao D, Che Y, Su W, Wang Y, Xu Y, Fan Y, Zhao H, Kong D, Xu Y, Li Z*. The Phenotypic Fate for Bone Marrow-Derived Stem Cells in Acute Kidney Injury. Cellular Phys Biochem, 2013, 32:1517-1527.

14.Su W, Wang L, Zhou M, Tong L, Liu Z, Hu S, Liu F, Liu Y, Yan F, Kong D, Han Z, WuJC, Xiang R, Li Z*. Human Embryonic Stem Cell-derived Endothelial Cells as Cellular Delivery Vehicles for Targeting Therapy of Breast Cancer. Cell Transplantation.2013;22(11):2079-90.

15.Zhou M, Wang L, Su W, Tong L, Liu Z, Liu Y, Yan F, Zheng Y, Zhao H, Xiang R*, Li Z*. Assessment of Therapeutic Efficacy of Liposomal Nanoparticles Mediated Gene Delivery by Molecular Imaging for Cancer Therapy. J Biomed Nanotechnol. 2012, 8(5): 742-750.

16.Wang L, Su W, Liu Z, Zhou M, Chen S, Chen Y, Lu D, Liu Y, Yan F, Zheng Y, Han Z, Kong D, WuJC, Xiang R*, Li Z*. CD44 Antibody Targeted Liposomes for Molecular Imaging and Therapy of Hepatocellular Carcinoma. Biomaterials. 2012, 33(20): 5107–5114

17.Feng G, Cui J, Zheng Y, Han Z, Xu Y*,Li Z*. Identification, Characterization and Biological Significance of Very Small Embryonic-Like Stem Cells (VSELs) in Regenerative Medicine. Histol Histopathol. 2012, 27: 827-833.

18.Hu S, Huang M, Nguyen P, Gong Y, Li Z, Jia F, Lan F, Liu J, Nag D, Robbins RC, Wu JC. Novel MicroRNA Pro-survival Cocktail for Improving Engraftment and Function of Cardiac Progenitor Cell Transplantation. Circulation. 2011, 124: S27-S34.

19.Li Z, Hu S, Ghosh Z, Han Z, Wu JC. Functional Characterization and Gene Profiling of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells-Derived Endothelial Cells. StemCell and Development. 2011, 20(10): 1701-1710.

20.Su W, Zhou M, Zheng Y, Fan Y, Han Z, Kong D, Zhao RC, Wu JC, Xiang R*, Li Z*. Characterization of Teratoma Formation by Human Embryonic Stem Cells with Bioluminescence Reporter Gene Imaging. J of Cell Biochem. 2011, 112: 840–848.

21.Hu S, Huang M, Li Z, Jia F, Ghosh Z, Lijkwan M, Sun N, Fasanaro P, Wang X, Martelli R, Robbins RC, Wu JC. MicroRNA-210 as a Novel Therapy for Treatment of Ischemic Heart Disease. Circulation. 2010, 122:S124-S131.

22.Wilson KD, Sun N, Huang M, Zhang WY, Lee AJ, Li Z, Wang SX, Wu JC. Effects of Ionizing Radiation on Self Renewal and Pluripotency of Human Embryonic Stem Cells. Cancer Research. 2010, 70(13): 5539-48.

23.Huang NF, Niiyama H, Peter C, De A, Natkunam Y, Fleissner FA, Li Z, Rollins M, Wu JC, Gambhir SS, Cooke JP. Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Endothelial Cells Incorporate into the Ischemic Hindlimb and Restore Perfusion. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology. 2010, 30:915-922.

24.Jia F, Wilson KD, Sun N, Gupta DM, Huang M, Li Z, Kay MA, Longaker MT, Wu JC. A Simple Non-viral Minicircle Vector for Deriving Human iPS Cells. Nature Methods. 2010, 7(3): 197-199.

25.DaadiDM, DavisA, Arac A, Li Z, MaagAL, Batnagar R, SunG, WuJC, Steinberg GK. Human Neural Stem Cell Grafts Modify Microglial Response and Enhance Axonal Sprouting In Neonatal Hypoxic-Ischemic Brain Injury. Stroke. 2010, 41(3): 516-23.

26.Huang M, Chen ZY, Jia F, Li Z, Kay MA, Wu JC. Novel minicircle vector for cell based gene therapy in murine myocardial infarction. Circulation. 2009, 120:S230-S237

27.Daadi DM, Li Z, Arac A, GrueterBA, Sofilos M, Malenka RC, Wu JC, Steinberg GK. Molecular and Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Human Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Neural Stem Cell Grafts in Ischemic Rat Brain. Molecular Therapy.2009, 17(7): 1282–1291.

28.Li Z, Lee A, Huang M, Chung J, Chu P, Yang P, Rosenberg J, Robbins RC, Wu JC. Imaging Survival and Function of Transplanted Cardiac Stem Cells. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2009, 53(14):1229–40.

29.Li Z*, Han Z, Wu JC*. Transplantation of Human Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Endothelial Cells for Vascular Diseases. J of Cell Biochem. 2009, 106:194-199. (Journal cover)

30.Li Z, Suzuki Y, Huang M, Cao F, Xie X, Connolly AJ, Yang PC, Wu JC. Comparison of reporter gene and iron particle labeling for tracking fate of human embryonic stem cells and differentiated endothelial cells in living subjects. Stem Cells. 2008, 26(4): 864-873.

31.Li Z, Wu JC, Sheikh AY, Kraft D, Cao F, Xie XY, Patel M, Gambhir SS, Robbins RC, Cooke JP, Wu JC. Differentiation, survival, and function of embryonic stem cell–derived endothelial cells for ischemic heart disease. Circulation.2007; 116: I46-I54.



Dean’s Postdoctoral Fellowship of Stanford University      7/1/2006-6/30/2007

“Endothelial Progenitor Cells from Embryonic Stem Cells: Isolation, Delivery, and Imaging for Treatment of Myocardial Infarction”                     $20,000

PI: Dr. Zongjin Li

The primary goal of this project is test the hypothesis that the endothelial progenitor cells differentiated from mESCs are capable of inducing vasculogenesis after delivery to heart infarcted animals.


Mitzi and William Blahd, MD Pilot Research Grant           7/1/2008-6/30/2009

“Molecular Imaging of Stem Cell Differentiation and Function”         $25,000

PI: Dr. Zongjin Li

The aims of my SNM Research Grant in Nuclear Medicine/Molecular Imaging are to integrate the fields of molecular imaging, stem cell biology, and cardiovascular physiology to provide key biological insights into stem cell differentiation, survival, and function in vivo.


31071308 (Zongjin Li, PI)                                 1/1/2011-12/31/2014

National Natural Science Foundation of China                  RMB370,000

“Simple Non-viral Minicircle Vector for Deriving Cardiac iPS Cells”


Zongjin Li, Co-PI                                       1/1/2011-12/31/2014

Doctoral Fund of Ministry of Education of China


12JCZDJC24900, Zongjin Li, PI                                            4/1/2012-3/31/2015

Natural Science Foundation of Tianjin




2011CB964903 (Deling Kong, PI; Zongjin Li, Co-PI)         1/1/2011-12/31/2015                  

National Key Scientific Program of China                     RMB4,620,000

 “Molecular imaging tracks pancreas and kidney progenitor/stem cell therapies”


Zongjin Li, PI                                            1/1/2012-12/31/2015

Scientific Research Foundation for the Returned Overseas Chinese Scholars, State Education Ministry (SRF for ROCS, SEM)



NCET-12-0282Zongjin Li, PI                                            1/1/2013-12/31/2015

Program for New Century Excellent Talents in UniversityNCET)State Education Ministry



81371620 (Zongjin Li, PI)                                 1/1/2014-12/31/2017

National Natural Science Foundation of China                  RMB700,000

“Multimodality molecular imaging of human embryonic stem cells for treatment of mice myocardial infarction from mechanism to therapy”


81320108014 (Zongjin Li, Co-PI)                            1/1/2014-12/31/2017

National Natural Science Foundation of China                 


o1/201                2014-2017800000

“Pre-clinical application and molecular imaging of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) therapy for myocardial infarction”


63151014(Zongjin Li, Co-PI)                            1/1/2015-12/31/2015

Fundamental ResearchFunds for the Central Universities


“Human embryonic stem cell derived endothelial cells mediated targeting therapy for breast cancer”


81671734 (Zongjin Li, PI)                                 1/1/2017-12/31/2020

National Natural Science Foundation of China                  RMB560,000

“Molecular imaging of mesenchymal stem cells with IGF-1 C domain-modified hydrogel for treatment of hindlimb ischemia